Tips For Making Joint Custody Go Smoothly

Posted on: 1 June 2018

If you and your child's parent were never married or have gotten separated or divorced, the two of you might have worked out a joint custody agreement for your child with the court system. This can be a good option for both parents and children; after all, it allows you to share the stress of parenting with your child's other parent in a more equal way than with other forms of custody and visitation, and it allows your child to spend approximately an equal amount of time with each parent, which can be good for everyone who is involved. However, these arrangements can sometimes be stressful for children and adults alike. These are a few tips to help make joint custody go more smoothly.

Be Civil

It's not always easy to get along with your child's other parent, particularly if the two of you had a rocky relationship to start with or if you went through a tough divorce. However, joint custody probably isn't going to go well for anyone who is involved -- including the child -- if the two of you can't make an effort to at least be civil with one another. Therefore, it's important to do what you can to put your differences aside and get along for the sake of your child, even if you don't see eye to eye.

After all, the two of you will probably need to communicate at times if you are going to co-parent. For example, you may need to talk about things like your child's school, any behavioral or medical issues that might be at play and other issues that are related to your child.

Live in Close Proximity

Generally, the only way that joint custody will work is if the two parents live in relatively close proximity to one another. This is particularly true when you have school-aged children. You don't have to live in the same neighborhood, of course, but you'll probably want to live in the same school district.

Have Everything Done Legally

Even though it might seem like a good idea to come up with a custody arrangement together on your own, it's generally best to work with a family law lawyer and to go through the court system to make sure that everything is done legally. Then, if there is a disagreement of some sort later on, you will have legal documentation related to the custody agreement so that everyone is protected. 

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